Split AC vs window AC: A detailed comparison to help you choose the best cooling option; top picks to buy

In the heat of summer, choosing the right air conditioning system for your home or office is crucial. Split ACs and window ACs offer distinct advantages depending on your needs. Split ACs are prized for their quiet operation and efficient cooling, making them ideal for larger spaces. They consist of two units, an indoor unit for cooling and an outdoor unit housing the compressor, linked by refrigerant lines. On the other hand, window ACs are compact units that fit into a window frame, offering straightforward installation and affordability, perfect for smaller rooms.

Discover the difference between Split AC vs Window AC, explore the top picks to consider, and find out which one is better for you!

Before making a purchase decision, it’s essential to understand the differences between these two types of ACs. This article provides a detailed comparison to help you navigate their features, advantages, and considerations. Whether you’re looking to cool a spacious living room or a compact office, knowing the strengths of each type will guide you towards the most suitable option. We’ve also handpicked top models for both split and window ACs, ensuring you have access to reliable recommendations tailored to your cooling needs. Additionally, we’ll suggest top picks for both types of ACs from leading brands on Amazon. Let’s get started and find the perfect cooling solution for your space!

Comparing split AC and window AC: Operation, functionality, and applications

What is a split AC?

A split AC system consists of two main units which is an indoor unit that cools the air inside the room, and an outdoor unit that expels heat outside. For example, in a bedroom, the indoor unit is mounted high on a wall to distribute cool air evenly, while the outdoor unit sits outside on a balcony or rooftop.

How does a split AC work?

Inside the indoor unit, a cooling coil cools down warm air drawn from the room using refrigerant. This cooled air is then circulated back into the room by a fan. Simultaneously, the outdoor unit houses a compressor and condenser coil that release the absorbed heat outside, allowing the refrigerant to cool and repeat the process. Suppose this process is a continuous loop where warm air is drawn in, cooled, and then circulated back out.

Key features of split AC

Split ACs are known for their quiet operation, energy efficiency, and precise temperature control. They often come with convenient features like remote control operation, programmable timers, and sleep mode, making them user-friendly and comfortable to use.

Common uses and installation of split AC

Split ACs are highly sought after in homes, offices, and shops where maintaining a serene environment is paramount. They’re the perfect solution for rooms where conventional window installations aren’t feasible whether due to space constraints or strict building regulations. Installing a split AC involves expertly mounting the indoor unit on a wall and strategically placing the outdoor unit in a well-ventilated area. This not only ensures optimal performance but also enhances the overall efficiency and lifespan of the system, making it an ideal choice for those seeking both comfort and practicality in their cooling solutions.

What is a window AC?

A window AC is a standalone cooling system that you install directly in a window or through a wall opening. It’s commonly used in residential settings where a central HVAC system may be impractical or unnecessary.

How does it work?

Inside the unit, warm air from the room is drawn in through the front grille and passed over the evaporator coils. These coils contain refrigerant that absorbs heat from the air, cooling it down. The cooled air is then blown back into the room, while the absorbed heat and moisture are expelled through the exhaust vents at the back of the unit, usually outside through the window.

Key features

Window AC units are appreciated for their simplicity and effectiveness. They’re easy to install and typically more affordable than split AC systems. Many models come with features like adjustable fan speeds, remote controls, and programmable timers for added convenience.

Common uses and typical installation scenarios

Window ACs are commonly used in bedrooms, living rooms, and small apartments where cooling specific areas is necessary. They’re particularly suitable for spaces with windows that can accommodate the unit’s size and ventilation needs. Installation involves fitting the unit securely into a window frame or through a wall, ensuring it’s properly supported and sealed to prevent air leakage and maximise efficiency.

Comparative Analysis: Split AC vs. Window AC

Let’s dive into the key differences to help you find the perfect cooling solution for your space!

1) Cooling Efficiency:

Cooling efficiency refers to the effectiveness of an air conditioning unit in converting electrical energy into cooling power, often measured by its energy consumption and cooling capacity. High cooling efficiency means the unit can cool a space quickly and effectively while using less electricity, resulting in lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact.

  • Energy consumption and SEER ratings: Split ACs generally have higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings, indicating better energy efficiency compared to window ACs.
  • Cooling capacity and performance: Split ACs are often more powerful and suitable for larger spaces, offering better cooling capacity and performance.

2) Space requirements

If you’re unsure about the space requirements for an AC unit, read along. Space requirements refer to the physical space needed to install an air conditioning unit, including both the indoor and outdoor components, and how they fit within the available areas of a home or office.

  • Space requirements for installation: Split ACs require wall space for the indoor unit installation and an external area for the outdoor unit, while window ACs fit directly into a window frame or wall opening.

3) Noise Levels:

Noise levels refer to the sound produced by an air conditioning unit during operation, influencing indoor comfort and environment.

  • Typical noise levels during operation: Split ACs are quieter during operation due to the separation of the compressor, while window ACs may produce more noise due to all components being housed in one unit.
  • Impact on indoor environment: Split ACs contribute less to indoor noise pollution, offering a quieter environment.

4) Additional Features:

Additional features include smart capabilities, air purification, and customisable settings, enhancing convenience and comfort.

  • Smart features (Wi-Fi control, remote access): Many split AC models come with smart features like Wi-Fi control and remote access, offering enhanced convenience.
  • Air purification capabilities: Some split ACs include air purification features, improving indoor air quality by removing dust, allergens, and odours.
  • Customisable settings and modes: Both split and window ACs offer customisable settings and operating modes such as timer functions, sleep modes, and energy-saving settings.

Now let’s understand the differences between split AC vs window AC through a table:

Features Split AC Window AC
Energy consumption and SEER ratings Generally higher efficiency Lower SEER ratings, varying efficiency
Cooling capacity and performance Better for larger spaces Suitable for smaller to medium rooms
Space requirements Requires indoor and outdoor space Fits directly into window or wall opening
Noise levels Quieter due to separate outdoor unit Can be noisier due to compact design
Additional features Often includes smart features and air purification Limited smart features, basic operation

Now let us discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both split AC and window AC in detail:

Split AC: Interested in efficient cooling and enhanced aesthetics? Explore the advantages and disadvantages of split AC below:


Advantages of split AC:

1) Enhanced energy efficiency: Split ACs are great at saving energy because they use inverter technology. This adjusts how fast the compressor works based on how much cooling is needed, which lowers electricity bills.

2) Easy installation: Installing a split AC is easier than other types because you don’t need complex ductwork. It’s quicker and less disruptive. Plus, you can place the outdoor unit farther away from the indoor one to reduce noise and make it look better.

3) Zoned cooling: Split ACs let you set different temperatures for different rooms. This means everyone can be comfortable without wasting energy cooling empty rooms.

4) Quiet operation: These ACs are really quiet, especially indoors. The noisy part, the compressor, is outside. So, they’re perfect for places where quiet is important, like bedrooms or offices.

Disadvantages of split AC:

1) Initial cost: Split ACs are often more expensive upfront, especially for models with advanced features. However, considering their long-term energy savings and comfort benefits, the initial investment can pay off over time.

2) Professional installation: While installing a split AC is generally easier compared to other types, it’s advisable to hire a professional for proper installation. This ensures optimal cooling efficiency, reduces energy consumption, and minimises the risk of maintenance issues down the road.

3) Space limitations: Installing a split AC requires adequate wall space for the indoor unit. This might be challenging in smaller spaces or rented apartments where wall options are limited. Proper airflow around both indoor and outdoor units is crucial for efficient operation.

4) Regular maintenance: Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring that split ACs perform at their best and last longer. This involves tasks like cleaning filters, checking refrigerant levels, and inspecting the entire system regularly. Neglecting maintenance can result in reduced efficiency and increase the risk of malfunctions.

Window AC: Are you looking for affordable cooling solutions? Discover the advantages and disadvantages of window AC below:


Advantages of window AC:

1) Cost-effective: Window ACs are known for their affordability, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious individuals or for cooling smaller spaces without overspending.

2) Easy installation: Installing a window AC is straightforward since they’re designed to fit into standard window openings. There’s no need for complex ductwork or major home modifications, making them a convenient option for quick setup.

3) Energy efficiency: Many modern window AC models feature energy-saving technologies like programmable timers, sleep modes, and high energy-efficient ratings. These advancements help lower energy consumption, resulting in reduced electricity bills over time.

4) Individual room cooling: Window ACs are perfect for cooling specific rooms or areas of your home. This targeted cooling approach allows you to focus on cooling the spaces you use most frequently, which can improve energy management and provide personalised comfort.

5) Compact and space-saving: These units are compact and fit directly into the window frame or a designated slot in the wall. This installation method saves valuable floor space, leaving more room for furniture and other belongings.

Disadvantages of window AC:

1) Limited cooling capacity: Window ACs are effective for cooling individual rooms or small spaces but may struggle to adequately cool larger areas or multiple rooms simultaneously. Larger spaces may require additional units or alternative cooling solutions.

2) Window obstruction: Installing a window AC unit blocks a section of the window, potentially reducing natural light and obstructing views. This could diminish the aesthetic appeal and affect the ambiance of the room.

3) Noise levels: Window ACs tend to generate more noise compared to central air conditioning systems. This operational noise can be disruptive, particularly in quiet environments where minimal noise is preferred for relaxation or concentration.

4) Lack of mobility: Unlike portable air conditioners, window ACs are fixed in place once installed and cannot be easily relocated between rooms. If cooling needs change or you move to a different area, reinstalling the unit becomes necessary, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

Who should buy a split AC?

Split ACs are particularly suitable for homeowners looking to efficiently cool larger spaces or multiple rooms. They are ideal for individuals who prioritise a quieter indoor environment since the noisy compressor is positioned outside. Those who have the flexibility to install the outdoor unit without restrictions, such as in their own property or where building regulations allow, will find split ACs advantageous. For example, suppose you own a spacious home with several rooms. A split AC system would enable you to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout your house while minimising indoor noise disturbance.

Who should not buy a split AC?

Suppose you live in an apartment where you can’t change the outside of the building. In this case, a split AC won’t work because it needs an outdoor unit. Also, if you’re on a tight budget and need something cheaper, a split AC costs more upfront than window ACs or portable units. And if you live in a small space like a studio or one room, you might not need the power of a split AC, which could be too much for your needs. It’s important to think about these things before deciding on a cooling system.

Who should buy a window AC?

Residents of rented apartments where window installations are permitted find window AC units convenient for their cooling needs. These units are ideal for cooling single rooms or smaller spaces effectively without requiring extensive modifications or high installation costs. They are also suitable for budget-conscious individuals looking for a cost-effective cooling solution with lower upfront expenses compared to split ACs or central air systems.

Who should not buy a window AC?

People living in buildings with strict regulations against window modifications may find window AC units impractical due to installation restrictions. Additionally, those needing to cool multiple rooms or larger spaces simultaneously might find window ACs insufficient in terms of cooling capacity compared to other AC types. Moreover, individuals prioritising a quieter indoor environment may prefer alternatives to window ACs, as they can be noisier during operation.

Also Read: Best blue star ACs: Top 8 picks to kill the summer heat and give your space a cool feel right away

Factors to consider when choosing between split AC and window AC:

When deciding between a split AC and a window AC, several factors should be considered:

1) Installation requirements: Split ACs require professional installation for both indoor and outdoor units, involving wall mounting and external placement. In contrast, window ACs are self-contained units installed directly in a window frame or a specially cut wall opening.

2) Cooling capacity: Split ACs are typically more powerful and suitable for cooling larger areas or multiple rooms with zoned cooling options. Window ACs are designed for smaller spaces or single rooms and may not have the capacity to cool larger areas effectively.

3) Aesthetics and space: Split ACs are less intrusive visually as they only have an indoor unit visible inside the room. Window ACs, on the other hand, occupy window space and can obstruct natural light and views.

4) Noise levels: Split ACs are quieter during operation because the noisy compressor is located outside, while window ACs can be noisier due to the entire unit being indoors.

5) Initial cost and long-term efficiency: Window ACs are generally more affordable upfront, including installation costs. However, split ACs may offer long-term energy savings due to their efficiency and advanced features like inverter technology.

6) Flexibility and portability: Window ACs are fixed in place once installed and cannot be easily moved, unlike portable units or split ACs where the outdoor unit can be relocated within installation guidelines.

Also Read: Best 2-ton split AC: Beat the heat this summer with our top 6 options

Top picks to buy for split AC

Looking for a reliable and efficient air conditioning solution? Discover enhanced cooling comfort with the Daikin 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC. Engineered for efficiency and performance, this AC features a copper condenser coil for durable cooling, PM 2.5 filter for cleaner air, and Dew Clean Technology to prevent mould growth. Enjoy precise temperature control with its Triple Display and even distribution of cool air thanks to Coanda Airflow. Perfect for homes or offices, its 3 Star energy rating ensures savings on electricity bills while providing superior comfort. Experience the blend of innovation and reliability with Daikin’s latest offering in white, designed to elevate your indoor environment effortlessly.

Specifications of Daikin 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC:

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 3 Star Rating

Type: Inverter Split AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Energy efficiency Higher initial cost
Advanced air filtration Professional installation required

Also Read: Experience refreshing comfort with the 5 best Panasonic 1 ton ACs as the summer season has arrived

2. LG 1.5 Ton 3 Star DUAL Inverter Split AC

Looking for an advanced air conditioning solution? Consider the LG 1.5 Ton 3 Star DUAL Inverter Split AC. This AC is engineered with cutting-edge features to deliver powerful cooling with energy efficiency. It features AI Convertible 6-in-1 Cooling technology, ensuring optimal performance in varying climatic conditions. Equipped with a copper condenser coil for enhanced durability, it also boasts an HD filter with anti-virus protection for improved indoor air quality. The 2 Way Swing function ensures uniform cooling across the room, making it ideal for homes and offices seeking reliable comfort. You can purchase this split AC if you’re looking for a long term investment.

Specifications of LG 1.5 Ton 3 Star DUAL Inverter Split AC

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 3 Star Rating

Type: DUAL Inverter Split AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White

Model Year: 2024

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Energy Efficiency with 3 Star Rating Higher Initial Cost
AI Convertible 6-in-1 Cooling Technology Professional Installation Required

Also Read: Best 1 ton ACs 2024: Top 10 choices that are energy efficient with space-saving design

3. Lloyd 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC

Considering an efficient and feature-packed air conditioning solution? Look no further than the Lloyd 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC. This AC is designed to offer superior cooling performance with energy efficiency. Featuring a copper condenser for enhanced durability, it incorporates 5 in 1 Convertible cooling modes to adapt to varying environmental conditions. The inclusion of an Anti-Viral + PM 2.5 Filter ensures not only cool air but also cleaner and healthier indoor air quality. Finished in white with a chrome deco strip, this AC blends functionality with modern aesthetics, making it suitable for any living or working space.

Specifications of Lloyd 1.5 Ton 3 Star Inverter Split AC:

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 3 Star Rating

Type: Inverter Split AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White with Chrome Deco Strip

Model Year: 2023

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Energy efficiency Higher initial cost
Adaptive 5 in 1 convertible cooling Professional installation required

Top picks to buy for window AC:

Looking for a reliable and efficient window air conditioner? Consider the Voltas 1.5 Ton 3 Star Fixed Speed Window AC. This AC combines robust cooling performance with energy efficiency, making it ideal for residential cooling needs. Featuring a copper condenser coil for enhanced durability and efficient heat transfer, it also includes Turbo Mode for quick cooling during hot summer days. The sleek white design of the 183 Vectra Pearl model blends seamlessly with any room decor, offering both functionality and style. So, whether you’re looking to cool a bedroom, living room, or office space, this Voltas window AC provides the perfect balance of performance and aesthetics.

Specifications of Voltas 1.5 Ton 3 Star, Fixed Speed Window AC:

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 3 Star Rating

Type: Fixed Speed Window AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White

Special Features:

Turbo Mode: Ensures rapid cooling when needed.

Model Year: 2023

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
Energy efficient with 3 star rating May produce more noise
Turbo mode for quick cooling Limited features compared to inverter models

Looking for an advanced cooling solution? Consider the Blue Star 1.5 Ton 5 Star Inverter Window AC. This window AC is designed to deliver superior cooling efficiency with its 5-star energy rating, ensuring significant energy savings. Equipped with a copper condenser for efficient heat transfer and durability, it features Turbo Cool mode for rapid cooling during scorching summers. The Hydrophilic Blue Fins enhance the AC’s longevity by preventing corrosion from humidity, while multiple fan modes (Auto/High/Medium/Low) cater to personalised comfort preferences. With features like dust filters for improved air quality and self-diagnosis for easy maintenance, the WID518L model in sleek white complements any interior decor, offering both functionality and style.

Specifications of Blue Star 1.5 Ton 5 Star Inverter Window AC:

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 5 Star Rating

Type: Inverter Window AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
5 Star Energy Rating for Significant Energy Savings May Require Professional Installation
Turbo Cool for Rapid Cooling Higher Initial Cost compared to lower star ratings

This HITACHI 1.5 Ton 5 Star Window Inverter AC (SHIZUKA- RAW518HGEOZ1, 2023 Model) in sleek white offers a blend of advanced features, ensuring it meets residential cooling needs effectively. It provides precise temperature control, operating quietly to minimise noise disturbance. Enhanced durability is ensured with its copper condenser coil, while its 5-star energy rating delivers significant energy savings. Designed to maintain 100 percent cooling efficiency even at high temperatures up to 43 degree C, this model combines efficiency with reliable performance, making it an excellent choice for cooling homes during hot weather conditions.

Specifications of Hitachi 1.5 Ton 5 Star, Window Inverter AC:

Capacity: 1.5 Ton

Energy Efficiency: 5 Star Rating

Type: Window Inverter AC

Material: Copper condenser coil

Colour: White

Model Year: 2023

Reasons to Buy Reasons to Avoid
5 Star energy rating for significant energy savings May require professional installation
100 percent cooling at 43 degree C for effective performance Higher initial cost compared to lower star ratings

Similar stories for you to read:

Best 5-star split AC in India: 9 picks for energy efficient options in 2024 to help you stay cool while you save energy

Best AC brands in India 2024: Top 7 air conditioners from leading brands like Daikin, Voltas, LG and more for you

FAQs on the split AC vs window AC:

What is the difference between a split AC and a window AC?

Split ACs have two units: one indoor (evaporator) and one outdoor (condenser), connected by refrigerant pipes. Window ACs are single units installed through a window, containing both evaporator and condenser components.

Which is more energy-efficient, split AC or window AC?

Generally, split ACs are more energy-efficient than window ACs. Split ACs often come with inverter technology, adjusting compressor speed for efficient cooling, while window ACs typically operate at fixed speeds.

Are split ACs quieter than window ACs?

Yes, split ACs tend to be quieter than window ACs because the noisy compressor unit is located outdoors in split ACs, whereas window ACs have all components housed within the indoor unit, which can contribute to more operational noise.

Which type of AC is easier to install?

Window ACs are generally easier to install compared to split ACs. Window ACs only require mounting in a window frame, while split ACs need indoor and outdoor units to be installed, along with refrigerant pipes and electrical connections.

Which AC type is better suited for larger rooms?

Split ACs are often preferred for larger rooms or multiple rooms because they can provide more even cooling through multiple indoor units (multi-split systems). Window ACs are typically suitable for smaller to medium-sized rooms due to their single-unit design.

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